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SHGs, MGNREGS help rural population sustain during lockdown

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on July 03, 2020 Published on July 03, 2020

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About 4.62 lakh Self Help Groups (SHG) comprising 46.7 lakh families in rural Maharashtra remained active during the lockdown and kept the economy alive. Involved in various production activities, these groups have become the lifeline of their families. And now the State government has decided to connect these groups to online platforms enabling them to sell their produce.

Taking cognizance of the hard work women in SHGs are putting in, the State government has tied up with Amazon to sell the products made by SHG members. State Rural Development Minister Hasan Mushrif said that 33 products made by SHGs are available on the portal and 50 are available on the Government-e-Marketplace (GeM) where goods and services can be procured by government departments.

Eight varieties of papad, four types of paper bags, terracotta jewellery, cooking masala, biscuits, masks, and turmeric powder, among others, produced by SHGs will be available online. With the help of SHGs, 14.48 lakh families have developed more than two sources of livelihood.

According to the Union Ministry of Rural Development, women in SHGs across the country have emerged as community warriors by contributing in different ways to contain the spread of Covid-19. Many SHGs prepare masks, headcovers, and gloves from cotton cloth under the strict quality standards suggested to them by the Krishi Vigyan Kendras. Cotton masks, being washable, economical, and healthier than the masks containing synthetic material, have been in demand.

In rural Maharashtra, works under MGNREGS helped people get work, said the government. “Huge amount of work under the MGNREGS was started in the State against the backdrop of the lockdown. On the principle of work as per demand, 57,550 works were completed and with ₹285.36 crore paid as labour charges. ₹84.14 crore was spent on equipment, and hence, workers got work in the villages,” said MGNREGS Commissioner ASR Nayak in a statement. There are 22 lakh MGNREGS job card holders in Maharashtra, and currently five lakh works are ready on the shelf.

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Published on July 03, 2020
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